I recently came across this lesson plan in EdTech Magazine on writing rebus stories. The process can be done with almost any modern word processor, but the idea behind the lesson can be expanded to be an even more effective type of learning experience.
First, clip art is a pretty low-resolution type of file. In the rebus story in the link above, the images work more as icons than as real, honest to goodness pictures. Using real photographs (even ones the kids have taken or played a part in capturing) would be better.
Second, seeing the icons instead of the names (again, in the example from above), kids begin to easily see the frequency of those words in the story. If the lesson is on nouns, wow—great process. What if the lesson is on action verbs? Voila! Use images that show action.
This type of activity could be completed using a laptop and projector with Kidspiration ,as well. Better yet, kids could write these stories in concert using an interactive white board. After a few examples created together, kids could use laptops or the lab to generate their own stories.
If properly formatted, these rebus stories could be passed one grade level down, for those students to replace the pictures (or icons) with the real words.
Images play a powerful role in communication today. This idea from Jolene Barron might get you started on a new way to marry technology, images, and the creativity of writing into a worthwhile project.